Atlas Sound – Logos

October 22, 2009

atlas01Bradford Cox is kind of turning into the Picasso of our time: everything the guy does turns out to be a masterpiece. No less than three full-length cds last year: Deerhunter’s “Microcastle” and “Weird Era Cont.” and Atlas Sound’s “Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel.” Then the Deerhunter “Rainwater Cassette Exchange” ep from earlier this year. And now “Logos,” probably the greatest of them all.

One thing I’ve always admired by Cox is how he makes no attempt to hide his love and enthusiasm for the work of other artists; another, related to the first, is how he lets diverse influences creep into his own work. On “Logos,” he takes these admirable tendencies to their logical conclusion through full-fledged collaborations with Noah Lennox of Animal Collective and Laetitia Sadier of Stereolab. But, while “Walkabout” does sound like an Animal Collective song and while “Quick Canal” does sound like something from Stereolab, it’s also true to say that both of those tracks sound even more like they belong here, on an Atlas Sound record, proving that Cox can do what few others can: giving others the space to make their own unique contributions, while somehow incorporating those contributions into something identifiably his own.

In a widely-quoted letter from last July, Cox claimed that “Logos” is “not about me … the lyrics are not autobiographical.” What, then is this all about? Well, if we accept that the album’s title has some special significance, then it somehow pays homage to the presence of order and reason in the universe — and maybe even in human actions as well. An audacious stance to make, at a time when order and reason seem sorely lacking. But Bradford Cox has earned the right, by creating an album this good.

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